Innovation through Collaboration

Develop professional skills and start building a professional portfolio, using technology and teamwork to solve real-world challenges.

What Skills will Alumni develop?

Skills developed in each Academy cohort are focused on a specific technology area and a unique problem theme. All cohorts also address key emerging skills as identified in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2020 report, including:

  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-management
  • Working with people
  • Management and communication of activities

How does it work?

Guided by a University Mentor, and supported by Industry Experts, YOU and a team of 3 other students will spend a week designing and implementing a technology-based solution to a new or emerging real-world challenge.

Who Can Participate?

Students eligible to participate in HighTechU programs must satisfy all of the following criteria:

☑️ Be a high-school student, or home-learner, in Grade 9-12 living & studying in British Columbia, Canada.

☑️ Have an interest in learning through/about technology.

☑️ Be committed to cultivating a positive, safe, & inclusive learning environment for everyone in accordance with our Core Values & Code of Conduct.

What is the Cost?

Tuition for the 2022 Skills Academy is $400.00 (CAD) which includes:

  • Mentorship from Technology Industry Professionals
  • Digital Badge & Certificate of Completion
  • Publication of Project to Academy Portfolio
  • Eligibility for Ambassador Program
  • Priority Access to Future Internship Opportunities
  • Access to Exclusive Alumni Community Channel
  • Limited Edition Alumni T-Shirt & HighTechU SWAG

Financial Support is available through the Skills Scholars Program.

When do Cohorts take Place?

More information on the 2022 Cohorts coming soon

Where do Academy Cohorts take place?

Due to ongoing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all HightechU programs in 2022 will be virtual, hosted in real-time on Zoom and using a collection of digital tools.

How many students are accepted?

The application process is competitive with each cohort accepting only 16 students from across the province of BC.

How do I Apply?


Applications for the 2022 Skills Academy Program will open soon.


After submitting an application, selected candidates will be invited to attend a Group Interview


Successful candidates* will be invited to participate in the Academy Cohort.

*While we are unable to accept all candidates, we strongly encourage anyone with interest to apply as we want to determine whether additional cohorts should be offered in future seasons.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Coming Soon 🕒

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the themes for each Academy cohort?

Themes for 2022 Skills Academy cohorts will be announced soon.

What are the focus areas for the Academy?

Focus areas correspond with programs offered in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Victoria, specifically:

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science and Software Engineering
Who will be a successful applicant?

Successful applicants for the Skills Academy program must demonstrate how they exemplify our six core values of respect, resilience, creativity, curiosity, teamwork and innovation in their daily lives. With diversity as a cornerstone, applicants should also aim to demonstrate a range of interests and experiences outside of education and technology.

Do participants need a web camera?

While we encourage participants to use a webcam as part of the team building process, it is not mandatory for you to have or use your webcam during the Academy.

What technical “hard” skills will I learn?

While specific technical skills differ depending on the theme and focus area of the cohort, all Academy activities center around the 3 technology-related skills highlighted in the in the WEF 2020 report:

  • Technology design and programming,
  • Technology use, monitoring and control,
  • Troubleshooting and user experience

The following are examples of technical “hard” skills which have been covered in previous cohorts of the Academy

  • User Interface Design
  • Computer Assisted Design
  • Agile Project Management
  • Web Application Development
  • Circuit Design
  • Version Control Systems
What professional “soft” skills will I learn?

While themes and focus areas differ depending on cohort, all Academy activities center around the top “soft” skills highlighted in the WEF 2020 report:

  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Creativity, originality and initiative
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Service orientation
  • Systems analysis and evaluation
  • Quality control and safety awareness
What are the digital tools participants will be using?

While Zoom will be used for all cohorts, other tools may differ depending on cohort, and may include:

Will participants be on Zoom for the entire day?

While the Zoom room will be open throughout the day during the Academy cohorts, many of the activities will not require you to be live on Zoom for the entire time.

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